Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The IDF expands military operations in Gaza, making at least 7 air strikes on Hamas, ESF, and PA General Intelligence targets in Gaza, targeting 4 suspected arms caches and 3 other sites (including PA Interior Min. offices in Rafah), injuring 16 Palestinians, damaging at least 25 Palestinian homes; sending tanks and bulldozers into the Strip to level agricultural land e. of Bayt Hanun; directing heavy machine gun fire at a rocket launching site in n. Gaza; conducting arrest raids in Khuza’a nr. Khan Yunis. Late in the evening, the IDF sends troops into Khan Yunis to conduct arrest raids and house searches. Palestinians fire 9 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 2 Israelis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Bethlehem, and in Hebron, Jericho, Jenin, Qalqilya. Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian vehicles in East Jerusalem. A Hamas mbr. is fatally shot by suspected Fatah mbrs. in Khan Yunis. (OCHA, WP 5/23; PCHR 5/24; OCHA 5/30)

Heavy clashes btwn. the Lebanese army, FI at Nahr al-Barid r.c. continue for a 3d day. In Tripoli, a lone FI suicide bomber, still hiding from the police crackdown on 5/20, detonates a device when police close in on his location, killing only himself. Later in the afternoon, the Lebanese army halts its shelling of Nahr al-Barid r.c. in response to a shaky, undeclared cease-fire by FI, prompting some 10,000 Palestinians to flee. Palestinians in ‘Ayn al-Hilwa r.c. and Rashidiyya r.c. demonstrate against the army’s heavy shelling of Nahr al-Barid. (Independent, REU 5/22; DS, LBC, MENA, al-Sharq al-Awsat, al-Safir 5/22 in WNC 5/23; NYT, WP, WT 5/23)